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Nine Marks of a Healthy Church

3rd Edition

By Mark Dever, Foreword by David Platt

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You may have read books on this topic before—but not like this one. Instead of an instruction manual for church growth, this classic text offers tried and true principles for assessing the health of your church. Whether you’re a pastor, a leader, or an involved member of your congregation, studying the nine marks of a healthy church will help you cultivate new life and well-being within your own church for God’s glory.

This classic guide has been recently revised to include a new foreword as well as updated content, illustrations, and appendices.

Part of the 9Marks series.


Mark Dever

Mark Dever (PhD, Cambridge University) is the senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC, and president of 9Marks ( Dever has authored over a dozen books and speaks at conferences nationwide. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, Connie, and they have two adult children.

Product Details

Category: Church Ministry
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 304
Size: 5.5 in x 8.5 in
Weight: 14.95 ounces
ISBN-10: 1-4335-3998-5
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-3998-5
ISBN-UPC: 9781433539985
Case Quantity: 44
Published: August 31, 2013


“It is astonishing that the apostle Paul describes the local gathering of Chris- tians as ‘the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood’ (Acts 20:28). That raises the stakes of church life and health and mission about as high as it can be. We are dealing with a blood-bought body of people. I do not want human ideas. I want God’s word about the church. I turn with hope and confidence to Mark Dever’s radically biblical commitment. Few people today have thought more or better about what makes a church biblical and healthy. I thank God for the book and for 9Marks ministries.”
John Piper, Founder and Teacher,; Chancellor, Bethlehem College & Seminary; author, Desiring God

“Books on the church are a dime a dozen. This one is different. Only rarely does a book on the church come along that marries responsible biblical and theological reflection to godly, experienced, good judgment and practical appli- cation. This book is one of them. If you are a Christian leader, be careful of the work you are now holding in your hand: it may change your life and ministry.”
D. A. Carson, Theologian-at-Large, The Gospel Coalition

“In a day when a church is most likely evaluated on her cosmetics, it’s vital to know how to assess her true health. They put cosmetics on corpses! Mark Dever gives the biblical criteria for discerning the spiritual well-being of a church, not what it looks like on the outside before the world, but what it is on the inside before God. This is a foundational work which I highly recommend.”
John MacArthur, Pastor, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California; Chancellor, The Master’s University and Seminary

Nine Marks of a Healthy Church is one of the very best, most readable, and useful books for learning how to lead a church into spiritual change. Its focus is not on church growth but on church health, which is the proper goal of a God- centered ministry. Each chapter gives the biblical rationale and offers practical suggestions for preaching, evangelism, discipleship, or some other aspect of church life. These principles and practices have been tested in Dever’s own dynamic ministry as senior pastor of a thriving urban congregation.”
Philip Graham Ryken, President, Wheaton College

“Postmodern America is awash with spirituality—but not with authentic Chris- tianity. Clear evidence of this fact is seen in the loss of a biblical ecclesiology in so many sectors. Reformation is always directed to the church—and we must pray to see the church reformed in our age. Mark Dever points toward a truly biblical recovery of the New Testament church in his manifesto, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church. Every page is loaded with thoughtful analysis and careful consideration. It belongs in the hands of every faithful pastor and all those who pray for reformation in this age.”
R. Albert Mohler Jr., President and Centennial Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“The future of biblical Christianity in the Western world is inextricably bound to the future of the local church. Mark Dever knows this, and his Nine Marks of a Healthy Church is a biblical prescription for faithfulness.”
Ligon Duncan, Chancellor and CEO, Reformed Theological Seminary

“A powerful and passionate call for congregations to take seriously their re- sponsibilities, for the glory of God and the saving of lost souls.”
Timothy George, Distinguished Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University

“In the tradition of Martyn Lloyd-Jones and John Stott, Mark Dever calls the church to rediscover her biblical heritage. Perhaps never in history has the church tried so hard to be relevant to a culture and become less relevant in doing so! While many modern church gurus encourage us to be ‘in the world,’ Mark reminds us that our calling is to do so without being ‘of the world.’ This volume is consumed with church ‘being’ rather than church ‘doing.’ After all, being comes before doing, for what we ultimately ‘do’ is always determined by who we ‘are.’ Let the church be the church! Read it and reap!”
O. S. Hawkins, President and Chief Executive Officer, GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention

“Books that affirm the priority of the church are rare. Books that define the practice of the local church from the pages of Scripture rather than from cultural trends are even more rare. Mark Dever has given us just such a book. Written by a pastor and theologian who has built a strong local church in Washington, DC, this is the best book I have read on this topic of critical importance.”
C. J. Mahaney, Senior Pastor, Sovereign Grace Church, Louisville, Kentucky